The ancient Indian rishis were scientists of spirituality, consciousness and nature. Their acumen into the deepest depth of human mind had enabled them to develop a perfect science of systematic refinement and escalation of intrinsic faith and inherent tendencies of human self. They had developed the system of sixteen sacraments which are methods of conditioning and training or experiments of purification of accumulated instincts and inculcation of virtuous tendencies, performed during specific transitional phases of life.
The combination of powerful mantras and procedures of yagya associated with each of these rituals had resulted from long-term dedicated research conducted by the rishis. This system was devised to affect the subtle levels of human consciousness which impacted on the psychology, endocrine system and genetic machinery, and is an integral part of the Indian culture and philosophy of life.
The modern age saw a deformed 'short-cut' version of the sacraments propagated and performed by the so-called Hindu 'priests' professionally in the name of religious rituals. To address this, Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya, a sagacious spiritual scholar, devoted saint and social reformer pioneered the revival of the original tradition of these sacraments along with elucidation of different facets of Indian philosophy in scientific light.
Considering the mode of living, attitude towards life and spiritual level of an average person in today's society, Acharya Sharma had found that six out of the sixteen sacraments cannot be performed in present circumstances. As would be expected from a foresighted inventor, he, rather than sticking to rigid traditions, modified the list of sacraments to serve the basic purpose effectively in modern conditions. He added four new methods and disciplines to this system which are most relevant in the modern age and which are to be performed regularly throughout the span of one's life. He had analyzed the scientific foundation and effects of each of them in detail and had explained them in simple language for educating the masses.
Acharya Sharma had eliminated all misconceptions and illusions associated with the ceremonies and had revived the methods of performing the sacraments without elaborate rituals and ceremonies. He made their knowledge available and attainable for all humans without any discrimination of sex, caste, religion, creed or social status.
Invoking blessings for Divine protection of the foetus for his/her bright future
The Punsvan Sanskar (Baby Showers) Performed during the period of pregnancy, invoking blessings for Divine protection for his/her bright future. The sanskar is normally performed when the child is in the form of a foetus - three months old in the mother's womb. However, it can be performed after three months also. A specific herbal preparation energized in the sacrificial fire of yagya is given to the mother to reach the foetus. This special 'treatment' performed with chanting of mantras during a yagya strengthens healthy development of the gross (physical), subtle (mental) and astral (conscious) body of the child.
The experiments on the Punsvan sanskar (baby showers) have revealed startling results: the mothers, who were prone to abortion or whose earlier issues were subjected to metabolic system's deficiencies or to some genetic disorders since birth, have delivered health y babies after this sanskar . It has now been accepted by the researchers that the charu or purodash (herbal preparation) processed under the vitally charged vapors of yagya affects the cellular and molecular (including genetic) systems.
A sacrament for imposition of Divinity in newly-born human child
The ceremony of naming the child - A sacrament for imposing of divinity in newly-born human child. The NamkaranSanskar (Naming Ceremony) of the child is normally performed on the tenth day after birth, but can be performed within a month or whenever name is given to child. It is also a sacrament for imposition of divinity in a newly born child. During this ceremony, the importance and education is given to parent and other family members that the child should be given the atmosphere where his/her inherent qualities can be awakened and undesirable traces of previous birth can be uprooted. The child should be named in a manner that is meaningful and reflects a noble quality. During Namkaransanskar parents are encouraged that child is also for society & should be encouraged to be friendly with other family members, neighbour& whole world.
Sowing the seed of purity in Annamaya-Kosh of the child
Administering food to the child for the first time - Sowing the seed of purity in Annamaya-Kosh of the child. Performed at the age of 6 months or when a child starts eating solid food for the first time. The food is offered to YagyaBhagvan first and then given to the child. The education for eating leftovers of yagya means sacrifice for the animal kingdom and the poor in our society, as mentioned in Geeta. The aim of this sanskar is to sow the seeds of purity in AnnamayaKosh of the child and is performed for health y growth and strength of the body. It teaches the importance of piousness of Anna. Scriptures say, "Aaharshudhousatvashudhihi" meaning if you eat pious food your mind will be pious. Food is not just for the taste but for healthy growth of the mind.
Eradication of beastly tendencies & sowing seeds of cultural consciousness in the child
The MundanSanskar (tonsure ceremony) of children - Eradication of beastly tendencies & sowing seeds. It is performed at the age between 1 and 3 years regardless of gender. Nowhere in our scriptures are mentioned the differences between a girl and a boy. In fact, the Vedas say, " Dashputrasamayasyashilvatisoota ", meaning a moral girl is equivalent of ten boys. It aims at eradication of beastly tendencies and sowing seeds of cultural consciousness in the child. It is also performed for harmonious titillation of the nerves and proper development of the brain. It is said that birth hair carries undesirable ideas and traits from past birth. So they need to be removed and new ideas full of eminence should be grown in its place. Parents are given education that the success of life is in using our talents, capabilities, and intelligence to benefit the world.
To initiate development of mind and install intellectual competence in the child
To initiate development of mind and install intellectual competence in the child. Thissanskar is performed at the age when a child starts initial schooling- generally between 4-6 years. The Vidhyarambhasanskar is indeed the righteous initiation of knowledge. It is performed to initiate development of mind and to instil intellectual competence in a child. School and College teaching may make a child 'learned' and help attain material prosperity, but true knowledge comes through the arousal and training of the sentimental core, righteous orientation of thoughts and appraisal and aspiration of the divine purpose of life. Attainment of Vidhya meets these objectives in a natural way.
Installation of the principles of Indian culture – taking pledge to lead disciplined, dignified spiritual life
The sacred thread ceremony - Installation of the principles of Indian culture - taking pledge to lead disciplines, dignified spiritual life. The most important sanskar for teenagers and youth, regardless of gender. It indeed gives "new birth" ( dwijatva ) to a person. The development of personality coherent with the dignity of human-being begins only after one adopts certain moral values and disciplines of humanity and enlightens his/her mind as well as inner self. The Yagyopaveetsanskar is performed to channelize this development. The initiation of the Gayatri Mantra and experiments of spiritual elevation is associated with this sanskar.
Acharya Sharma eliminated all misconceptions and illusions associated with Yagyopaveet and Gayatri. He revived the methods of performing this sanskar and propagated the universality of Yagyopaveet and Gayatri and made that knowledge available and attainable for all humans, without any discrimination of sex, caste, religion, creed, or social status. He also invoked the discipline of maintaining shikha (hair knot) on head. This shikha is placed at a point, which is very important for positive impact of yoga and meditation. It lies at a special junction of many nerves, which are linked with intellectual processing and memory registration in the brain and is found to have a controlling effect on harmonious functioning of the endocrine system.
To invoke patronage of the Divine Power – dedication of the disciple to his/her Divine Guide
An entry into the dignified family life, and the sacred union of two souls.
Pledge to devote the remaining period of life in the service of humanity
Inculcation of belief in the immortality of soul and transience of physical body
Shradhhya Tarpan Sanskar
To remember and pay homage to the deceased, departed ancestors for seeking their blessing
Janma Divas Sanskar
A sacrament to contemplate upon the significance of the human life and chalking out plans for future development and progress
Birthday celebration - A sacrament to contemplate upon the significance of the human life and chalking out plans for future development s and progress. The way birthdays of God Ram and Krishna celebrated - everyone should also celebrate their own birth day with same intensity at any age. The human body is made of 5 elements - water, fire, earth, air &aakash (Ether). On that day - one should pay respect toward these elements and vow to effective utilization and preservation for upcoming generation. This also helps in solving Global worming problem. Along with that, one promise to leave a bad habit and gain a good habit to go toward divinity. If it is followed in every birthday then it is believed that one day human will become almost perfect and very close to God.
Vivah Divas Sanskar
Self introspection about one's marital responsibility – it's attainment and discharge
Ceremony to celebrate the day of marriage - Self introspection about one's marital responsibilities - its attainment and discharge. It is a very important sanskar for today's world. It is like renewing the marriage - recall the promises and commitment made to each other in front of fire during marriage. During the marriage due to so many steps and tiredness involved - normally the couple couldn't focus on the teachings and steps of marriage. By this sanskar - the couple can focus on rituals and teachings & do review of marriage life the way Vedic methods explain. There are proper steps & guidelines on responsibility of couples toward each other, and their combined responsibility for society (saptpadi).